Farmers in the world top cocoa grower, Ivory Coast, have enjoyed unusually high prices for their beans for more than six weeks. However, buyers say these have been buoyed by tight world supplies and are not sustainable. Ivorian Coffee and Cocoa Bourse data show average prices in most cocoa growing areas have been climbing above 400 CFA francs ($0.8) per kg since mid January. Exporters and cooperative buyers attribute the current high rates to strong competition for small remaining supply of Ivorian October - March main crop cocoa. They predict rates would inevitably fall again when output picks up from April in the ‘mid crop’.
Royal Insurance of East Africa Registers Ksh.1.4 Billion Turnover
Royal Insurance of East Africa registered a turnover of Sh.1.4 billion last year, following a diversification into personal insurance. Earnings from two new subsidiaries in Tanzania and Malawi also contributed to the rise. The group has acquired a new financial software system named Sirius, which integrates all back office workflow procedures required by the insurance underwriting market. The software reduces costs and time committed to administrative processes thereby increasing speed and responsiveness in service delivery.
South African Phone Operator Buys Africa Online
South African fixed-line phone operator, Telkom, bought Africa Internet service provider for Ksh. 1.4 billion from London Based holding firm African Lakes Corp. Africa Online has businesses in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Telkom said it wants to improve the quality of internet in these countries as well as offer value added services such as voice over internet and internet cafes.
Tanzania Renews Agreement with SACU
Tanzania has concluded a deal with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to export duty-free textiles and garment products to countries in that region. According to Dr. Juma Ngasongwa (Minister for Planning, Economy and Empowerment) Tanzania was granted a five-year export license to the member states. Dr. Ngasongwa said that among the issues agreed upon was that SACU member countries would buy fruit from Tanzania and sell their beer there. The move comes a month after the expiry of a six-month interim agreement for Tanzania to export its textile products to SACU member countries that followed the earlier agreement which commenced in 2001.
G8 to Unveil a Microfinance Initiative
The G8 (the group of eight richest countries in the world) is expected to unveil a "special microfinance initiative" for Africa during its annual summit. Details of the package are being worked out and will be announced when the 33rd G8 summit gets underway in Germany in June. The President of the Africa Development Bank (Donald Kaberuka) disclosed this during the 10th anniversary celebration of the association of Rwandan women parliamentarians in Kigali on February 22. He said that Africa Development Bank would support the microfinance fund because of its potential to help Africa change its capacity to fight poverty.
Dubai Diamond Exchange Launches Develop Africa
The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) has launched Develop Africa, an initiative that promotes comprehensive development in the diamond-producing countries of Africa. The two-week intensive professional training program, which takes place at the DDE, will enable industry officials from Africa to enhance their skills and, in turn, support the growth of the diamond industry in their home countries. Established and regulated by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority, the DDE is the world's first diamond bourse to launch such a program for the benefit of the African diamond mining industry.
Mont Pelerin Society Kenya 2007
Over 130 delegates converged for the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS) Special Meeting at Safari Park Hotel – Kenya (Feb 25 - 28, 2007). The theme of this year’s meeting is The Institution Framework for Freedom in Africa. This is the second time MPS is holding its meeting in Africa. Fourteen African countries are represented in this meeting. The discussion document will be availed on http://www.mpskenya2007.org/